In this letter, His Majesty appoints H.E. Dr. Fayez Tarawneh as Prime Minister and outlines directives for the incoming government. He stresses the need for public officials to exercise transparency and be accountable for their actions. His Majesty mandates the government to design programs to fight poverty and unemployment and, on the political front, to engage in a constructive dialogue with political parties in order to foster a healthy civil society. On the economic front, King Hussein calls for Jordanians to continue improving the quality of the country’s products, as well as for the government to focus on telecommunications and informatics technologies.


Letter of Designation to Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh


August 19, 1998


(Translated from the original Arabic)



I send you my appreciation and confidence.

In view of the resignation of the government of Dr. Abdul Salam Majali and our acceptance of this resignation, we can only express our appreciation of his long years of loyal and dedicated service to the nation.

We found that the time has come for a new team to pursue the Kingdom's march, and therefore we are entrusting you with the formation of a new government, and wish you success in your new mission.

The reason that we chose you is that you, my brother, have been a model for others in your loyalty and true commitment to the homeland and your allegiance to the Hashemite Throne and what the Throne represents in this dear homeland and what the Throne strives to achieve under all circumstances and conditions.

I have watched your work as a young man at the Royal Court following your graduation from the University of Jordan and later your achievements while pursuing your higher studies in economics. My soul has been filled with satisfaction about your work as attested to by the various prime ministers you have worked with concerning your diligence and your open mind and readiness to learn. In all the positions you held, you have been a statesman in the full sense of the word, and when we chose you to serve as Chief of the Royal Court several months ago, we found that we had chosen well because you rose to the occasion and shouldered your responsibilities.

You no doubt realize the present critical circumstances we are experiencing and the enduring experience of the past few weeks. We have realized that in this steadfast country there are people who are not subject to envy and not affected by events and developments.

I have opted for transparency and clarity and set the example for others by informing the public about the details of my illness. We want the government to be transparent before the people, who can tell the difference between truth and falsehood and can differentiate between what is good and bad, because these people are educated and have a sense of awareness and are able to shoulder responsibility no matter how great the challenges might be.

Telling the truth and acting with transparency in presenting the facts to the public are among the most important duties of the government. All Cabinet members should be committed to their oath and should shoulder their responsibilities with honesty and should follow this approach in order to strengthen civic society. We should be honest in our performance and we will find that the people will back our efforts and so the burden will ease.

Government decisions should be characterized by accuracy, integrity and objectivity and should be based on scientific facts, accurate statistical information and the law and founded on a solid ground of integrity and justice.

There should not be any discrimination between one citizen and another except in their worthy efforts and straightforwardness. Reassurance and security can only be attained through justice and through imposing the law on the powerful, should they go astray. Societies are subject to weakness and instability in an atmosphere where corruption, discrimination, favoritism and nepotism prevail. When citizens feel that decisions are taken in accordance with solid principles and firm legislation they exert efforts to reap what is good for them instead of knocking on doors asking for (wasta) or favor. If these principles are applied to all, and if the decisions are presented to the public and if the door is opened for responsible, balanced and objective discussion, the people will be reassured and satisfied and will go about their business with a greater measure of dedication and competence.

Ensuring security for people in their homeland is imperative, although resources might sometimes fail to achieve everything all at once. Therefore the question of poverty should draw the concern of the government and should be given absolute attention. We are facing a challenge in the population growth rate, but we must not be resigned to the question of poverty and suffice ourselves by indirectly combating it. The government should instill reassurance in the minds of the poor and those with limited income and should mobilize all its forces to extend a helping hand to them. Officials should not close their eyes or go to bed satisfied with themselves while realizing that in certain homes people have no food as their bread-winners could not provide for their children.

In the coming days we should be creative in introducing programs to combat poverty; and the state, in its private and public sectors, should work hand-in-hand to find work for able bodied citizens, and we should ensure justice for all in accordance with well prepared plans and gradually seek to improve the quality of life of low income groups and people in underdeveloped regions living in the badia, the camps, villages or cities. The government should work out accurate programs to be reflected in our budget figures and our decisions so that the poor and the needy can feel that they are full members of society and so that they become an asset to society rather than a liability.

Priority in spending in the next fiscal budget should reflect the government's concern to tackle poverty and should include a strategy to deal with poverty from its roots. In the short term, the government should support the National Aid Fund and the Employment and Development Fund and should encourage charitable organizations and cooperatives to work in unison in the fight against poverty by providing assistance through rehabilitation, through small size family projects. The government should search for the unknown soldiers who toil in the desert and rural areas and should extend a helping hand to them.

As much as the nation needs to honor and reward the distinguished people in recognition of their endeavors, it must equally strike on the negligent and the indifferent and those who do not give any regard to their duties. I have earlier brought to the attention of the Jordanian people examples of shortcomings and failures which could have caused major disasters. Good employees should be rewarded, but those failing in their duties and neglecting responsibilities or the corrupt amongst them and those who betray the trust should be punished. Once the right steps are taken to determine the violation and the kind of punishment, the government should be just and fair in rendering punishment on the violators of laws and regulations.

The time has come for us to transform slogans into actions and to transform our words and aspirations into action for the people to feel and see that these actions positively affect their daily life. Such endeavors require programs to fight unemployment—a disease that has been eating away at our Jordanian family and causing misery. The time has come to look into the basic asset of Jordanian men and women, employees, and workers, graduates or job seekers, to help them secure productive work not by merely creating vacancies for them to fill.

The Jordanian family which has been accustomed to converting savings into investment in education and training deserve to be rewarded for their effort and not to be punished by depriving their children of the right to enjoy opportunities or by humiliating them through unemployment. My heart bleeds over women who had given birth to children and spared no effort in raising them, helping them through education at school and university so that after graduation they can start off their voyage through life. Parents feel apprehensive about the future which does not hold much for their children.

We must not accept a situation which creates hundreds of thousands of jobs for non-Jordanians while Jordanian job seekers sit idle, falling victim to frustration and despair. The government should work hand-in-hand with the private sector and the various institutions towards encouraging investment and individual initiatives. I urge the government to draw up a program that spreads awareness and educates the public on ridding itself of the culture of shame. We have inherited a religion that encourages us to work, not to sit idle and become unproductive.

Poverty and unemployment create a climate that breeds crime. There are groups outside our boundaries who are trading in drugs and who try to use our lands as a passageway for trafficking narcotics and they seek to tempt our young people into drug addiction. It has become imperative on us to protect our children from such temptation through initiating anti-crime and anti-narcotics programs. Such endeavors call for supporting the work of the security services and promoting their efforts by raising the efficiency of their cadres and providing them with the modern facilities and equipment to put an end to crime.

By this, we do not only protect ourselves but we have a duty to protect our brothers. Our efforts should not stop at combating crime but should rather go further towards respecting the dignity of prisoners and detainees by improving prison conditions and by providing prisoners with opportunities for rehabilitation and training so that they can return to normal life.

As we stand at the threshold of the twenty-first century we are required to improve our production so that we can enter world markets with high quality goods capable of competing with others. A large number of productive institutions in industry, agriculture and the services sector have won international recognition which has entitled them to export to the world. We need to focus on quality rather than quantity, and we should choose and employ modern technology rather than satisfying ourselves by transferring it without learning it. In order to reach these stages, we ought to train a generation of competent people, we should re-examine our methods of training and we should give due attention to the creative people among us because they are invaluable. We ought to overcome the shortcomings in certain developed services so that we may not be left lagging behind the world especially in informatics, telecommunications, and the media. I am confident that Jordanians can achieve successes in these fields as they have done in the fields of medicine and pharmacy when they were accorded support and encouragement.

Our openness to the world does not mean losing our Arab or Islamic identity. We should not advocate isolation from the world, we have inherited a faith that urges us to seek knowledge, even in China; a faith which encourages us to seek knowledge in all fields. Our unity serves as a basic asset which enables us to confront the challenges as we live through the eye of the storm. We ought to exercise internal cohesion, protect our national unity and close our ranks in the face of enemies. Our internal security is linked to our external security, and we should not be lax in either case. A civic society that does not allow loopholes and gaps should act in an integral manner with the armed forces and the security services. We have worked hard over long years and we have succeeded in creating institutions that protect our borders and our internal front. Citizens can go to sleep reassured and content about their well-being.

Therefore the government should place our military and security requirements among the priorities for care and spending so that we can continue to upgrade their levels and increase their efficiency to serve as the homeland's shield and a strong fence for the nation and a real example of the Great Arab Revolt's army.

We have to build a civic democratic society, and the government should be open to all political parties and interact with them, exchanging consultation and advice about the nation's affairs. We should not surprise the public with major decisions without ample preparation, and without studying their different aspects. We want to see constructive dialogue serving as our civilized approach in the various forms of the media and the press. The government should set the example in this, thwarting attempts on the part of those wishing to harm freedom and aborting attempts of those who try to cause damage to the nation's stability.

We take pride in Parliament and its achievements. The government is duty bound to maintain contact with parliamentary committees during the chambers' sessions as well as when they are in recess because this can help both sides reach conclusions while debating legislation or tackling public issues.

Our foreign policy is based on a clear and solid foundation. We are for peace in approach and strategy because it is the target of the nations that seek construction (not war). We support our brothers and we continue to help them protect their interests and protect their rights. The blood of our Palestinian brothers is our blood, whatever is good for them is good for us too and whatever harm they face is ours as well. We will work with their leadership until justice has been established and the Palestinians have regained their rights and aspirations to independence and the establishment of a state on their national soil. We oppose occupation of land by force and we believe in dialogue as the method for regaining Arab rights. This is the spirit of the Great Arab Revolt.

Our channels of communication with our brothers and friends will remain open so that our efforts can be integrated and based on mutual respect.

While awaiting a list of the names of the Cabinet members, I wish you success in serving the country, and the nation.